This was the first time in years I could a) afford a holiday, b) take a break from other commitments and c) spend a full week (instead of the odd Saturday afternoon) with my kids. For that reason this holiday HAD to be right. So I was careful to shop around. I spoke to several companies that all had euphoric smiling families on their websites but when I spoke to Tourdust it was immediately apparent that they had both on-the-ground experience and a genuine enthusiasm for the destination.
Tourdust did what a travel company are supposed to do – added value; I simply gave them the challenge (two hard to please teenagers, one adventurous and active, the other not so) and they put together a perfect package (e.g. a challenging but short 2 day trek, a mule for back up for the girl who has only ever exercised her finger tips). The week seemed like a month. Holidays usually require so much effort on working out what to do next, how to get from A to B, how NOT to be ripped off etc, but on this holiday all of this stress was lifted. Each time we were transferred from one location to the next it involved no more effort than throwing our things into bags and handing them to an obliging driver. All my attention and energy was therefore spent on enjoying the holiday and most of all watching the kids not just enjoy themselves but surprise me by walking (actually running!) up a mountain and not complaining, sleeping in “basic” accommodation (3 walls and not much more) and telling me it was the most enjoyable night of all, making an effort to understand a culture and see their prejudices disappear, build their confidence in a new language and taste new foods – still can’t believe they both ordered and ate a camel burger!
Thank you Tourdust for delivering the best holiday I’ve ever had and a shared experience with my kids that will be the talking point for many years to come. I only have one outstanding request from Tourdust – where are you taking us next year!
Rebecca can you please make sure that our gratitude to Yousseff is communicated; I appreciate that his job is far from easy – balancing being informative whilst allowing us privacy, encouraging us to take on the challenge but ensuring our safety and comfort. He did a thoroughly professional job – constantly attentive to our needs and providing us with a wealth of knowledge about the locality that made the trek a much richer experience than it would have been. To my delight my kids were very interested in Morocco’s culture and religion and they quizzed Yousseff extensively. He was very generous in sharing his own perspective despite some of the questions being a little undiplomatic. His pride of Morocco and especially of the local area challenged our western materialistic perception of what is of value and this was the best souvenir we took home with us.
Also could you make sure to thank the manager (Tino?) of Windy Kaouki for going out of his way to provide an alternative WiFi network connection after the usual one failed. I cannot over state how important this was to me; if I could not have responded to the support call on that Thursday evening I may have lost a major contract I’ve held for 12 years. So please pass on my thanks to him.
My kids and I came up with a few suggestions that we think would have made the trip more enjoyable:
1. If the drivers could speak English it would have added to the experience – we were lucky enough to have Yousseff with us on the trip from the Atlas Mountains to Marakech and it would have been nice to have someone speaking English on all journeys to answer all our questions about the surroundings.
2. I would advise anyone staying in small places like Sidi Kauoki not to eat in any of the small local establishments but to stick with the hotel; my son got very sick from a burger in a sea front Café.
3. Quad biking would have been great if it had been included
4. €20 for a 10 minute trip from Beldi Country Club to the airport is extortionate
Finally Rebecca, thank you for taking on the responsibility of organising my holiday. Your commitment and attention to detail was no less than what I imagine you’d dedicate to your own holiday plans.